Gardening Tips: Growing Potatoes (Part 2)
Growing Garden Fresh Potatoes (Part 2)
Earlier this spring I tried out tire potato planting for the first time. I had heard that it is very effective and since I had some of our van tires laying around I wanted to give it a try. If you missed the first post about prepping and planting the potatoes, check it out here. But now that my potato plants are healthy and growing, it’s time to add another tire!
Here’s 3 quick steps for adding on to the stack of tires in order to increase the amount of potatoes your plants will produce.
Trim down the rim of the tire for more sunlight exposure and growing room. I used my hubby’s utility knife by first scoring the tire, and then making small slits while pulling back on the tire. I would recommend wearing gloves so you don’t get blisters or wear your hands out too quickly.
Stack the tire(s) onto tire stacks that have plants about 12″ high…easy peasy!
Mound up garden soil around each of the plants. I have three plants in this tire and two are doing very well, so I mounded up the dirt around the 2 leaving about 4 inches of exposed plant, and only brought the level of soil up a small amount around the 3rd one. Make sure to support the plants under the dirt by mounding enough soil so the plant leaves sit easily on the new soil.
**I used 1.5 cubic ft of soil in the 1 tire. Shop online at Lowe’s and have it ready for pickup!**
And with that, you are done! Keep on watering and weeding your potato plants for the next few weeks. You will need to continue to watch the soil level if some of your plants are growing at different speeds. Once they reach about 12″ out of the soil again, add another tire and garden soil. (I have a single tire behind this stack, but the plants are growing a bit slower, so it’ll probably be next week when I add the tire to that stack.)
After posting the first Tater Tires Tutorial, a reader suggested painting the tires, and I thought that was a great idea! My husband even thought some color in the garden would make the bland black tires look better. So, I had some pink paint left over from my girls’ room, and yellow paint from our classroom that we used on the tires.
My kids enjoyed painting, and it helps them to be a part of the growing process and appreciate the harvest even more because it’s personal to them. After painting I shoveled more rock around it, and love how it turned out. You can see this out my back sliding door, so this is a fun & colorful part of the garden!
5/25/14 UPDATE: I have already added another 4 tires making the front stack 4 tires tall, and 2 to the back bringing that to 3 tires tall. With that I have also added 8 cubic feet of garden soil!! The plants are growing healthy and FAST! I am very eager to see how the harvest comes out this fall!
Knowing that I was at the end of my tires, I ended up calling a local tire store and asking if they had any junk/trash tires. They told me to come in, and they loaded up 6 tires for FREE! So, if you’re looking for some tires for your own potatoes, make sure to give a tire store a call first before looking to buy.
Here’s some other fun ways to add some color to your fruit and veggie garden!
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